Sunday, July 08, 2018

"Embezzlement" Is Just A Fancy Word For Theft

Here's what the LA Times reports:
Five years ago, the Los Angeles Community College District won one of its biggest federal grants: $19.2 million to help students gain training and skills for the fast-growing healthcare industry.

Los Angeles Trade-Technical College was selected to lead the effort on behalf of the district’s nine community colleges and industry partners. Trade-Tech President Laurence Frank assigned two of his vice presidents, Leticia Barajas and Kaneesha Tarrant, to supervise development of the program.

Now an internal district investigation prompted by a whistle-blower has concluded that the two administrators failed to justify more than $157,000 in payments they received between 2014 and 2017 from the U.S. Department of Labor grant. The extra work they said they did for the grant, which they claimed merited the payments, was in fact part of their regular college duties, according to a memo written by Arnold Blanshard, the district’s internal audit director.

The logs the administrators filled out provided “very general” descriptions of the work they said they did, and the wording was repeated each semester, the investigation found. They also failed to obtain all of the required approvals for the special assignments. Tarrant continued to receive grant money while on maternity leave. Barajas’ compensation increased even after the district hired a director to do most of the work she said she was doing.

The women were the only two among all the vice presidents from the eight colleges in the district who participated in the program to receive extra pay, the memo said...

Barajas also was questioned in an internal investigation last year, which found that a pilot program in English and math she ran had falsified some grades.

The auditor found that 11 students who received credit for intermediate algebra had not passed the final exam. He said he could not determine the validity of five students’ English grades because Trade-Tech did not provide all information he requested. Barajas acknowledged at the time that she and her staff had made mistakes but said they subsequently corrected them....
There's no mention of jail time in the article, but there should be.

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